Acupuncture

“Of the five happinesses: the first is long life; the second is riches; the third is soundness of body and serenity of mind; the fourth is love of virtue; the fifth an end crowning life”

The Shang Shu (Book of History), 1st millennium BCE

Acupuncture 1

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one of the most widely practised complementary medical treatments in the UK and has been recognised by the World Health Organisation and other leading organisations for its wide-ranging benefits. It is becoming increasingly popular as a natural, drug-free approach for common complaints such as back pain and migraines.  Besides traditional acupuncturists like Jenny, acupuncture is also provided by GPs, physiotherapists, nurses and midwives alongside modern medicine within the NHS and private sector.

Acupuncture originated in China and involves the insertion of fine sterilised needles into the skin at locations in the body known as acupuncture points.  It remains a key part of the healthcare system in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong where it is often integrated alongside biomedical treatments for a number of health problems.

Pulse taking

What happens during an acupuncture treatment?

Firstly, I carry out an in-depth health consultation which involves taking a full medical history and discussing the health issues that concern you the most. If you’ve undergone medical tests or procedures that are related to your health issues, I will usually ask to see test results and medical reports at your first appointment. We will talk about your diet and any lifestyle factors that could be associated with your health concerns. As part of the Chinese medical diagnostic checks, we’ll also take a look at your tongue and take a pulse reading.

At the end of your consultation, I will advise you on whether I think acupuncture will be able to help you and if so, what course of treatment I would recommend. Patients are often surprised to find that sometimes TCM practitioners don’t always recommend starting Chinese medicine treatments immediately, or that they might recommend seeking help from a GP or consultant first.

If I agree that a course of acupuncture treatments is the best way forward, you will usually be able to receive your acupuncture treatment within the same session as your initial consultation. Acupuncture is usually carried out on the abdomen or on the back, and on the forearms and lower legs. In my clinic, I will ask you to make yourself comfortable on the treatment couch, raise your top to expose your abdomen or lower back and roll up your sleeves and trouser legs. I recommend wearing loose and comfortable clothing such as a T-shirt or jogging bottoms that can be easily pulled up or removed.

Acupuncture needles (single-use and pre-sterilised) are much thinner than injection or syringe needles - about the thickness of a strand of hair - and because of this, it doesn’t feel the same as having an injection. I have worked on developing a very gentle needling technique and patients are often surprised to find that the sensation of the needles is quite pleasant, with most patients describing feelings of tingling, gentle pressure or a heaviness once needles are placed.

woman-receiving-acupuncture-584x285

Once the acupuncture needles are in place, I will make sure you’re warm and comfortable and will then ask you to relax for around 30 minutes.  Many patients describe feeling a deep sense of relaxation during this time and following the session itself. I recommend that patients rest (if possible) after the treatment, avoid alcohol and caffeine immediately after the treatment, and drink plenty of water for the rest of the day.

If you have any questions about acupuncture or wish to make an appointment, do get in touch by email or give me a call.

Which conditions does it treat?

In 2003 the World Health Organisation (WHO) published an official report listing the symptoms, conditions and diseases (see list below) shown in controlled trials to be treated effectively by acupuncture:

  • Low back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Sciatica
  • Tennis elbow
  • Knee pain
  • Peri-arthritis of the shoulder
  • Sprains
  • Facial pain
  • TMJ
  • Headache
  • Dental pain
  • Acute and chronic gastritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Induction of labor
  • Breech birth presentation
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Postoperative pain
  • Stroke
  • Essential hypertension
  • Primary hypotension
  • Renal colic
  • Leucopenia
  • Radiation/chemo reactions
  • Allergic rhinitis,
  • Hay fever
  • Biliary colic
  • Depression
  • Acute bacillary dysentery
  • Primary dysmenorrhea
  • Acute epigastralgia
  • Peptic ulcer

SOURCE: Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials, World Health Organization, 2003

How does it work?

The core understanding of acupuncture is that illness or pain occurs when there is an imbalance or interruption of the body’s essential energy (Qi).

The understanding is that this energy or Qi flows through our bodies via documented pathways, or Meridians – think of these as a set of highways carrying energy around our bodies – and our health suffers when these highways become blocked.

Acupuncture aims to unblock the highways and restore the flow of Qi, rebalancing the system.

Qi can be compromised by a variety of factors such as our environment and lifestyle. When this happens, the body falls out of balance and we get sick, injured or just don’t feel 100% well.  An acupuncture treatment will therefore also offer lifestyle advice.

The Whole Person

Instead of treating just the presenting symptom(s), Chinese medicine considers the individual from a holistic perspective to identify the root cause of a problem. It recognises that each person is unique and that people with similar symptoms may be suffering from very different underlying problems.

Who is it for?

Who can use acupuncture?

Acupuncture can be helpful for a wide range of symptoms and my success stories  page showcases the diversity of patients and symptoms that have been helped so far.

Official peer-reviewed scientific publications from various healthcare bodies and research groups around the world recommend that acupuncture be considered for a number of conditions, with the strongest support for conditions such as:

  • Lower back pain (American Academy of Family Physicians 2017);

  • Tension-type headaches, migraines and prevention of migraines (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence 2012, Linde et al. 2016);

  • Chronic musculoskeletal pain (Vickers et al. 2017)

  • Post-operative and chemotherapy nausea and vomiting (National Institutes of Health 1997);

  • Nausea of pregnancy (National Institutes of Health 1997);

  • Menopausal symptoms (Lund et al. 2018);

  • Post-operative dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction (National Institutes of Health 1997, World Health Organisation 2002);

  • Menstrual cramps, morning sickness, breech presentation during pregnancy, labour induction (National Institutes of Health 1997, World Health Organisation 2002);

  • Tennis elbow (National Institutes of Health 1997, World Health Organisation 2002);

  • Fibromyalgia (National Institutes of Health 1997, World Health Organisation 2002, Zhang et al. 2019);

  • Osteoarthritis of the knee, neck pain (World Health Organisation 2002, Witt et al. 2006, Vickers et al. 2017);

  • Allergic rhinitis including hayfever (World Health Organisation 2002, Witt et al. 2009, Panagiotis et al. 2017,).

Please note that the list above is an example of medical conditions for which good quality randomised controlled trials involving Western populations have been carried out. If the condition or the symptoms for which you are seeking help is not shown above, please get in touch with me to see if I can still help you.

 

Success Stories

Stewart Whitehead

“I have arthritis in my knees, which in spite of taking glucosamine supplements, are very painful especially when walking down stairs or downhill. About a year ago I went to Jenny for some acupuncture treatment, and wow what a difference!! My knees felt better pretty much straight away and amazingly continued to feel better for months and months afterwards. Gradually the pain has started to come back, recently exacerbated by a beautifully scenic but hard on the knees walk up and down Hellvelyn mountain in the Lake District.

So I returned to Jenny again this week and had a session of Acupuncture using electrical stimulation. What can I say? Once again, and after only one session, my knees feel so much better. I know the arthritis is still there, but it’s nowhere nearly as painful, and I feel like my joints are somehow much more free.

It’s great! I really can’t recommend Jenny and her Acupuncture treatment enough. Oh, and it’s not painful – Jenny is very skilled and reassuring, and knows her anatomy and physiology (and Acupuncture points) back to front.”

Keith Smartle

“I went to see Jenny because I have had migraine headaches for many years and nothing has really helped. Within one treatment of Acupuncture something changed. After 2 I knew I had found the answer. After 5 treatments spaced out over several months my headaches are completely cured!

Jenny is lovely. She explained Chinese Medicine meticulously and made sure I knew exactly what she was doing before she did it. She was gentle, kind and very skilled. It didn’t hurt a bit. In fact I found each experience intensely relaxing and even enjoyable in a strange sort of way. I always left feeling like I was floating on air. I recommend her highly.”

Jo Glockland

I was really nervous about receiving acupuncture as I am terrified of needles. Jenny was really sweet about it and patient.  I had a really bad back with sciatic pain down my right leg.

I saw Jenny twice a week for 2 weeks and by that time I was no longer afraid as it didn't hurt one bit and the pain was down from 9/10 to 2/10.

I then saw her once a week for 2 more weeks.  She also gave me exercises and some gel to rub on my back at home.  After 4 weeks I had no more pain and now see her for "tune up" acupuncture sessions about every 6 weeks or so.  She also checks on my technique with my Pilates exercises which I do at home to strengthen my back.

I totally recommend Jenny as an all round therapist.  Horsham is lucky to have her!

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    MOBILE 07957 891723

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    9 The Crescent
    Horsham
    Sussex
    RH12 1NA